AHA Coding Clinic® for ICD-9 - 2012 Issue 1; Clarification

Borderline Diagnoses

Coders are confused as to the correct coding of “borderline” diagnosis. The advice published in Coding Clinic, First Quarter 2011, pages 9-10, appears to be contradictory. The advice instructs coders to assign code 416.8, Other chronic pulmonary heart diseases, for borderline pulmonary hypertension as if it were confirmed; however, a diagnosis of borderline diabetes without further confirmation of the disease is assigned to code 790.20, Abnormal glucose. Should code 793.2, Nonspecific (Abnormal) findings on radiological and other examination of body structure, Other intrathoracic organ, be assigned for a diagnosis of “borderline pulmonary hypertension” or should all borderline diagnoses require clarification from the attending physician so that the appropriate code may be reported? ...

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